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UB Reporter


Updated August 20, 2015

Nowak recognized by Amherst Chamber of Commerce

Published May 21, 2015

Each May, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals and companies that support Western New York through their business and community service.

This year, the chamber honored Norma Nowak, executive director of the UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, with its Sponsors Award.

Nowak is a professor of biochemistry at UB and founder and chief scientific officer of Empire Genomics LLC, a molecular diagnostics company focused on enabling personalized medicine.

The award is given to a business on behalf of the chamber’s sponsor, First Niagara Bank, which chose Nowak and Empire Genomics for their outstanding contributions to the region.

Rowe receives New York State Public Health Award

Published May 21, 2015

Donald W. Rowe, director of the Office of Public Health Practice and a faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Herman M. Biggs Public Health Award by the New York State Public Health Association.

The award, named for Herman M. Biggs, a pioneer in the field of public health and New York State public health commissioner for 26 years, is given annually for outstanding achievement in public health.

In a career spanning 40 years, Rowe is recognized for his longstanding contributions to tobacco control, emergency preparedness, community service, coalition-building and rural health. As director of the Office of Public Health Practice, his focus is on connecting the school with the practice community to improve the health of communities.

Rowe also teaches courses in public health practice and community health assessment and surveillance.

He serves as chair of the New York State Rural Health Council, president of the New York State Association for Rural Health, and a member of the board of directors of the Western New York Public Health Alliance Inc. and the Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center. He also co-directs the Population Health Observatory in UB’s public health school.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Outstanding Leadership in Public Health Award from the New York State Public Health Association; Public Health Professional of the Year from the New York State Association of County Health Officials; Community Health Network of Western New York Leadership Award; the Lake Plains Community Care Network Service Award; co-recipient of the Program of the Year Award from the New York State Association for Rural Health; and two Dean’s Awards from the School of Public Health and Health Professions for community service and dedication to faculty and students.

Social Work grad selected as Yale fellow

Published May 14, 2015

Rachel Gaydosh, a student in the School of Social Work, has been selected as an advanced clinical social work fellow in the Yale Child Study Center.

Gaydosh, who graduates this weekend, will begins her one-year fellowship in the center’s Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) program on July 1.

The fellowship includes a stipend and comprehensive health care.

Founded in 1911 by Arnold Gesell, an early pioneer in the study of child development, the Yale Child Study Center is a multidisciplinary department in the Yale School of Medicine. Its IICAPS program provides clinical services for children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances. The center collaborates with schools and other service providers with the goal of maintaining the at-risk child’s relationship with parents or other adult caregivers.

“The opportunity to work with this population interested me,” says Gaydosh. “That’s what initially sparked my interest, but doing more research I discovered the center’s long history of being invested in the child from an early age. I value the early intervention of children at-risk.”

Gaydosh says she hopes to develop a strong clinical skills set over the next year, honing her abilities to engage with families in ways that are “strength-based.”

“Looking at individuals, families, communities or even entire societies, a ‘strength-based’ approach identifies the resiliency within any system and makes it possible to bring out those strengths,” she says. “That’s something the School of Social Work has emphasized in my education that I can now put into practice.”

Giovino named to FDA’s tobacco advisory committee

Published May 14, 2015

Gary Giovino, professor and chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, has been appointed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.

Giovino will serve as one of nine qualified voting members on the committee, which advises the FDA in its regulation of tobacco products.  

As a member of the advisory committee, Giovino will help evaluate safety, dependence and health issues relating to tobacco products, and will provide advice, information and recommendations to the commissioner of food and drugs. The committee also can provide recommendations on other matters related to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Giovino has extensive experience in tobacco research. He started his career at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the 1970s and early 1980s working in the smoking cessation clinic and studying physician training for smoking cessation, tobacco withdrawal, relapse after quitting and tobacco advertising.

He coordinated an evaluation of one of the nation’s first smoking-cessation telephone quit lines while at the University of Rochester as a research associate in the mid-1980s.

In 1989, he joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health, first as an epidemiologist and later serving as chief of the Epidemiology Branch. While there, he published extensively on the epidemiology of tobacco use and dependence, contributing to multiple reports of the Surgeon General.

When he returned to Roswell Park in 1999, he conducted research on several topics, including state tobacco-control programs and policies, tobacco products and youth smoking cessation. He also served on the Institute of Medicine Committee that produced the report “Clearing the Smoke: Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction.”

Since joining UB in 2006, Giovino has expanded his work to include studies of childhood maltreatment, tobacco use and dependence, and possible influences of dietary patterns on tobacco dependence and cessation.